I learned early on how important wedding receptions are in the Italian culture.
I once watched a friend “botch” the reception. My uncle Tony Capone (yes, I have a “Capone” in my family – you’d better be good to me) commented that was the worst wedding reception he’d ever attended.
Let me bring you up to speed with my son’s wedding. I was in charge of the rehearsal dinner, the bride was in charge of the wedding, and my son was in charge of the music at the reception. But let me pause and tell you another “related” story.
A few years ago, I officiated the wedding for my son’s best friend. As I was driving to the reception, I received a frantic phone call from my son, informing me I was to introduce the wedding party. After introducing the bridal party, my son told me I was running the reception. Between my daughter who worked in catering services and my son who worked the iPod, we managed to get through the wedding. I didn’t want that to happen at my son’s wedding.
My son decided he was not having a band or a DJ at this reception. For months I pressed him who was going to be the MC, but got no answer. A month before the wedding, he announced a groomsman was going to be the MC.
Less than two weeks before the wedding I emailed this groomsman to discuss the order of reception events. His reply is forever etched in my mind: “This is the first I am learning I am going to be the MC at your son’s wedding reception.”
That very night I had a conversation with a musician friend who asked about the wedding plans. When I told him the status of the music (or lack thereof), he told me he didn’t do weddings any more. It was too much drama because it took 29 emails to get the music selection correct. But he agreed to be the DJ for my son’s wedding.
Now the challenge – how to get my son to agree to a DJ.
Two days later, my daughter, wife, mother and I were “plotting” the takeover of the reception. Our plan for the DJ was that it would be a gift from my mother. As my son and his about-to-be bride joined us for dinner, my mother made the announcement. You need to understand that she is 91 and had already forgotten her lines. I had to whisper in her ear what to say. She couldn’t hear me, so I said it loud enough so that even the couple heard me. But it did come out of her mouth. In a “nano-second” the bride shouted “Thank you.”
My son just smiled.
How was the wedding? Wonderful
Do I have control issues? You know it.
But this time I felt I needed to intervene and save the day. Are there times when you can cross the line and muddle in affairs that are none of your business? You know it. What do you do?
The Serenity Prayer says, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
The wisdom part is probably the most difficult, especially for those of us with “control issues.” There is a Scripture verse that says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given.”
I’ll be back in two weeks. Until then, live well, my friend.
The Rev. Tony Marciano is executive director of the Charlotte Rescue Mission, which provides a free, long-term Christian recovery program for men and women addicted to drugs and alcohol.